Obedience towards the revealed will of God means deliverance from death. That is what we mean by the maintenance of our life. This attitude was true of the Son of God throughout His life. Being obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross, He overcame death. Therefore He is alive for evermore. So everything is bound up with obedience in the matter of life. Immediately we withhold obedience to God, we arrest the Life of the Lord in us, and make it impossible to go on. Obedience is Life.
This spiritual meat is not only maintaining our Life, it also increases our Life. It is leading us into the fullness of Christ. We grow by taking that meat, and Life increases by obedience. In Philippians 2 we are told that the Lord Jesus was obedient to the Father to the uttermost, “wherefore also God highly exalted Him and gave unto him the name which is above every name.” That is fullness resultant from obedience. Every fresh act of obedience leads us into a greater fullness in Christ, into spiritual enlargement. But disobedience brings limitation and holds up the flow of Life.
This then, is the meaning of spiritual food: the doing of His will, being obedient in all things. This spiritual feeding is related to our union with Christ in His resurrection. It is a living upon that which Christ is in death and resurrection.
In the background of John chapter 6 we have the Passover. In connection with what that means spiritually, the Lord Jesus fed a great multitude. The Jews were about to eat the Passover lamb. But before that took place we have here a hungry multitude, and He — God’s Lamb — feeds them with bread saying: “I am the bread of life.” He links that with the Passover, the Cross, the Lamb slain, saying in effect: “I am yours. In my death and resurrection, that is, in ME you have Life.” It is Christ imparted to us.
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